Truffles are an exquisite delicacy of French cuisine. Growing wild and hidden under oak trees in the south of France, they are highly prized and expensive. Professional truffle hunters use dogs and sometime pigs to sniff out this “black gold”. Finding truffles is a rare skill.
It turns out that you can acquire truffles in a very special way while on a rowing trip in the southwest of France. The primary focus of any rowing travel, of course, is on sculling in spectacular scenery. How about rowing past the remarkable castle of Beynac on our Dordogne & Périgord trip?
Or being in awe of the spectacular Pont Valenté in Cahors just before rowing under it on our Lot River weekend?
All this rowing creates good appetites to enjoy the famous gastronomy of the Southwest. Savour confit de canard, pommes sarladaise, cassoulet, salade des gésiers, tarte aux noix, perhaps foie gras. The wines are equally superb, particularly the rich reds of Pécharmant, Bergerac, Cahors and the Bordeaux region.
You might find omelette aux truffes on the menu, with the heady and earthy smell of the truffles blending perfectly with the eggs. Add a simple green salad on the side and you are in heaven.
I, however, found my truffle in an even better way. A simple red box containing a plain, gold-coloured can was presented to me by Yves and the other wonderful organizers from l’Aviron Cadurcien, our partners on the Lot River trip last year. What a wonderful gift, especially when the gratitude was on our part. I have not made my truffle omelette yet, but I have the perfect recipe, combining rowing, travel, food and friendship.